Toledo man guilty of aggravated murder

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  • Robert Carter.
    Robert Carter.

    Family members of a Toledo woman who was gunned down in front of her children on Christmas Eve wept and hugged as guilty verdicts were announced Friday against the man to whom she had been married.

    Robert F. Carter, 44, of 1143 Belmont Ave. was found guilty of aggravated murder and a firearms specification in the Dec. 24 death of Wendabi Triplett, 41. He faces up to life in prison without parole when he is sentenced Oct. 7 by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart.

    “I’m satisfied with the verdict. It won’t bring her back, but I’m satisfied,” said Leslie Hayes, mother of Ms. Triplett.

    She described her oldest daughter as “everybody’s mother — even mine. She looked after everybody. She took care of all of her sisters and brothers.”

    Family members said they felt certain from the beginning that Carter had killed Ms. Triplett. In the weeks before she was killed, some had tried to find Carter to warn him to leave her alone, which is all Ms. Triplett wanted.

    “She called me up and she said, ‘Dad could you intervene?’ I never could catch him,” said Larry Triplett, her father.

    Andy Lastra, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the jury Carter was angry that Ms. Triplett had left him, moved out with her children without telling him where they were going, and changed her phone number so he couldn’t contact her. Witnesses described a Nov. 5 incident outside the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital where Ms. Triplett worked in which Carter walked up to her car, looking for her but finding only her children. Carter ultimately got a gun from his car and pointed it at one of them but did not fire.

    On Christmas Eve, he approached her car just before 11 p.m. as she pulled up outside a friend’s house in the 4400 block of Terrace View Street and fired four times at her. One of the bullets struck her behind the ear, dropping her to the pavement, where Carter fired three more shots.

    “This was senseless and unnecessary,” Mr. Lastra said. “Nobody deserved to die like Dabi Triplett did that night in front of her children over the fact that her husband was angry that she wanted a divorce. He shot her seven times.”

    The jury deliberated an hour and a half before rendering a verdict. Defense attorney Merle Dech, who told the jury that witnesses gave conflicting accounts about who fired the shots, declined to comment on the jury decision.

    Contact Jennifer Feehan at: or 419-213-2134.